After a good night in sleep in the ferry, we dock in the morning at 09:30, as planned. We spend quite a bit of time in line for immigration. A young Brit behind us continues to use her phone, and despite several warnings from a staff member to put it away, she completely disregards him. How rude.
Once out, we get on the shuttle bus to the center of Newcastle. It’s your typical British double decker and doesn’t have much space for luggage, so our big luggage has to stay in the middle. After more people, more luggage, a large dog, an even larger dog crate, a baby, and the baby's trolley, we’re finally on our way, packed to the rim.
It’s about 30 minutes until we reach the Newcastle train station in the center. We decide to walk to our hotel, the Hilton Gateshead but don't realize how hilly the city is. We need to go all the way down to the Tyne River, take many stairs, cross a pretty bridge, and then go all the way back up again to the Hilton on the other side. I’m dead on arrival.
The hotel is large and modern, but unfortunately, the room isn’t ready. We get access to the executive lounge while we wait, thanks to J.'s Diamond status. The lounge is on the top floor and spans two levels with great views of the river and the city. Very nice. We spend some time there reading before we can check in.
Later in the afternoon, we decide to go try our first pub, The Bridge Tavern, that sits under one of the many bridges. For us, a proper British pub should have beer-stained carpet on the floor. No carpet on the floor here, sadly, but a plethora of beers and a dark atmosphere make up for it. We have a good time there and eat some nice pub food (a burger for me, a strange shepherd's pie for J.).
The day after, we take it super easy. I spend most of the time in the lounge, where I do a bit of admin and work on jumpingtraveler: I post some jumps and improve the map, replacing the default markers with embedded mapbox layers. It looks much nicer! In the meantime, J. goes on a walk to watch some of the local Kittiwake Seagulls.
In the evening, we decide to try our luck at an Indian resto, next to the pub we were at the day before. On the way, we take a jumping picture on the Swing Bridge, overlooking the Tyne Bridge and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge in the back. This city has many bridges!
The Indian restaurant we targeted was full, but there is another one just around the corner. The food there is fair, definitely better than the one I had in London last year, but still not as good as the ones we have in Mauritius. We come back completely stuffed, though 😂.